5 Tips To Lose Weight While Breastfeeding
One step closer to those pre-pregnancy jeans, one step at a time
Without affecting your supply that is.
I think most people have a goal to get back to pre-pregnancy weight after having a baby. I know I sure did. In fact I actually kept my size 25 Levis jeans in some delusional hope that some day I might actually fit back into them – heh!
However, there are always 1001 reasons/excuses/what have yous that can prevent you from shedding all that extra weight you’ve put on – sleepless nights, stress, and really, I always tell myself, “who has the time to pop into the gym!?”
And if you are a breastfeeding mom yourself, you’d know how hungry breastfeeding can make you. But let’s be honest here, it was also a very good and convenient excuse for myself to eat whatever I liked.
Breastfeeding burns a lot of calories – 300-500 calories a day. I nursed on demand so I was pretty sure I was burning the maximum amount of calories. If you are an exclusive pumping mum, pump on time and as frequently as you can as well More demand equals more supply too!
While nursing, you should not consume less than 1500-1800 calories per day. Eating less than the recommended calories may affect your milk supply, or leaving you feeling like you don’t have enough energy for the day. But then if you are like most breastfeeding moms, then I’m sure you can relate to the constant ravenous hunger pangs and feeling peckish to snack in between meals. This is by far my weakest point.
I suppose if you really wanted to be really strict about what you eat you could always track the number of calories in the meals you consume. By calculating how much calories you have consumed for the day, you are more likely to choose healthier options to stay in the range. Here are the calorie count for some of our famous Malaysian breakfast options using MyFitnessPal.com :
- Nasi lemak: 494
To learn more about calulating calories, here’s a video showing how to use the Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal.com
Drinking water is actually really good for weight loss and for breastfeeding. I’m not saying water is a miracle fat burning beverage, but staying hydrated could actually stop you from overeating.
Most times people mistake thirst for hunger and end up eating when in actual fact they should be drinking. Drinking water helps flush out toxins, and it helps keep you fuller. I also think that drinking a large glass of water before a meal will help you to eat a smaller portion – fingers crossed.
If you are not a big fan of drinking bottles of water, try infusing your bottles of water with fruits. Skip citrus fruits, oranges and herbs which you think would decrease breastmilk supply. You can also infuse carbonated water to drink or use it to water down freshly squeezed juices. This is a healthier option when you’re craving those sugary sodas.
I really envy people who drop the baby weight without any effort at all. I really do think that dieting alone doesn’t work and that it should be paired with moderate exercise. Cardio is important for overall health anyways and exercising can really boost those feel good hormones.
Check out Melanie Darnell on Youtube, as she has some amazing workout videos which you can do while wearing your child or with your child.
But even a 30 minute stroll while pushing your baby in a stroller is pretty good too. I wouldn’t mind doing that in the early mornings or late evenings when it is cool.
Avoid Stress & Get Enough Sleep
Most important of all is try to avoid stress and get enough rest in between. Stress always leads to binge eating and binge eating equals added weight for you to shed later. So try to get a night off if you can and just relax or hang out with the girls. Let daddy take over for a bit.
Sleep when ever you can too and I mean this seriously. You cannot afford to be sleeping hours like you use to because chances are you won’t get to. It is hard enough to sleep when you have a breastfeeding baby, add other children into the equation and sleep becomes almost extinct.
The body needs sleep to repair itself and when you have enough rest, you would have more energy to face the day. Then maybe, just maybe, you’ll have just enough to hit the gym for once.